The Lebel Model 1886 rifle (French: Fusil Modèle 1886 dit "Fusil Lebel") is an 8 mm bolt action infantry rifle that entered service in the French Army in 1887. It is a repeating rifle that can hold eight rounds in its forestock tube magazine, one round in the transporter plus one round in the chamber. The Lebel rifle has the distinction of being the first military firearm to use smokeless powder ammunition. Featuring an oversized bolt with front locking lugs and a massive receiver, the Lebel rifle was a durable design capable of long range performance. In spite of early obsolete features, such as its tube magazine and the shape of 8mm Lebel rimmed ammunition, the Lebel rifle remained the basic weapon of French line infantry during World War I with 3.45 million rifles produced between 1887 and 1916. Some rifles even saw action during World War II, but more advanced rifles, like the MAS-36, quickly replaced them in military service.
— In-game description
The Lebel Model 1886 is a weapon introduced in the Battlefield 1: They Shall Not Pass expansion for the Scout class. The sweet spot of this bolt-action rifle can be considered the intermediate between the SMLE MKIII and the Russian 1895. One significant downside is that it loads one bullet at a time to fill its tubular 8-round magazine. It also has a significant post-reload delay due to having to load an extra round to the cartridge lifter. However, the post-reload delay can be canceled by quickly switching away from the gun and switching back to it.
There are two variants of the Lebel Model 1886: Infantry and Sniper.
The Lebel Model 1886 Infantry is the basic variant of the rifle. It is unlocked upon obtaining 50 kills with the Gewehr M.95 Infantry and performing 20 spot flare assists.
The Lebel Model 1886 Sniper variant is unlocked by obtaining five headshots with the Russian 1895 Sniper in a round and performing 10 periscope spot assists. Like the other 3 sniper variants in the game, it is identical to its infantry counterpart with spread decrease being the only different factor.
- When reloading the Lebel from empty, the player character will load all eight rounds then operate the bolt twice to use the cartridge lifter. When reloading from non-empty, the player character opens the action (causing one extra round to be ejected), reloads the number of bullets fired, operates the bolt once, loads in an extra round to top off the magazine, then closes the bolt. The extra round ejected is not represented in gameplay, and only rounds loaded in-between increment the ammo count.
- The reason why the Lebel has such an elaborate non-empty reload compared to most other single-shot rifles is because with other rifles, the character covers the ejection port with his left hand while opening the bolt, stopping the round from ejecting. The Lebel features a bridge which has to be pushed down in order to allow the user to insert extra bullets into the tube magazine, which is why the character lets the bullet to fly out.